Cleaning smog in the air
Cleaning smog from the air. Image – Canva.
  • China-based Canadian may have the solution for office air quality
  • System was developed to monitor and filter smog in Asian countries
  • It could be the way to get workers back into offices safely, post pandemic

Air pollution in Asia has been an issue for a while. Rapid industrial growth has caused worryingly high levels of particulates, often exacerbated by regional forest fires.

For whole months of the year, Singapore can be shrouded in smoke haze blown in from Indonesia, particularly during the August to October monsoon season.

Rumours abounded that Beijing may not have been given the Olympic Games due to the terrible pollution in the city. The government shut down various factories running up to the games in 2008 in order to keep it under control.

So perhaps if you were looking to improve air pollution, or were worried about workers returning to offices during, say, a global pandemic, you might look to China for a solution.

“Asia is pretty advanced when it comes to indoor air quality,” said Raefer Wallis, on a recent Jones Lang LaSalle podcast.

Originally from Canada, but now based in Shanghai, Mr Wallis is a former architect and creator of Reset, a platform that monitors real-time indoor health data in buildings.

Raefer Willis
Raefer Willis, founder of GIGA, RESET and A00 Architecture. Image – LinkedIn

Mr Wallis saw the pandemic sweep into Shanghai a year ago. If he could filter smog from buildings, perhaps he could help keep indoor spaces safe.

“What we’re seeing is the rest of the world trying to compress 17 years of learning into a few months. They’re making the same mistakes we made in Asia all those years ago,” he said.

The Reset system focuses on collecting data via long-term, continuous monitoring, which requires data to be streamed to the cloud via monitors.

“Since Covid, the rush for indoor air quality improvements has gone through the roof,” Mr Wallis told the BBC in an interview.

Currently, the system is working on over 220 projects, with a certified area of almost a million square metres.

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